Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snake Gulch to the Corral

I recommend it.
Snake Gulch is full of pictographs (and a few petroglyphs) from the "Basketmakers", 300 BC to 800 AD. I would call this place Canon Pintado if it wasn't already taken. The jurisdiction is Kaibab National Forest (Kanab Creek Wilderness). An easy terrain hike, out-and-back to the corral and/or spring at Table Rock took us 6 1/2 hours, including lunch. It's about 6 miles each way and features mostly red pigmented pictographs. Hike early in the day to see the north side art work more easily in the shade. Snake Gulch trail runs generally east to west on this hike. The first art site is mostly petroglyphs in an alcove right, about 45 minutes into the hike. After that keep looking right all the way to the corral, which is about 3 1/2 hours into the hike (including sightseeing). Some pictographs are ankle-high and some are 20 feet above the trail. Apparently many ledges have fallen down. There are also many ruin piles, not of much discernibility except to archaeologists. They are still cool though, with some stone fencing obvious. Turn around at the corral and cross to the south side of the gulch as there are a couple of nice panels there. The corral has not much remaining except for fence posts. Recognize it by the granaries behind it and below an alcove. If doing a multi-day hike of Snake Gulch, there is a camping site existing on the south side of the gulch, across from the corral. This should be plenty of a day, shouldering a full pack. The Table Rock spring was dry this fall day.
Access: 1 mile south of Fredonia, Az. take a right onto Forest Service Route 22 for 21 miles paved and 1 1/2 miles gravel. Turn right on FS 423 for 1 1/3 mi., then right on FS 642 for 2.6 miles to the trail head. The trail is about an hour from downtown Kanab.

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